U.C.L. Academicals Football Club

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2006-07 Results - September

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Saturday 30th September

Accies 1sts 2 (Lloyd Vanson, Mike Foster) Bealonians 3.

Old Minchendenians 1 Accies 2nds 1 (Max Lovell).

University of Hertfordshire 3 Accies 3rds 3 (Terry Foster, Tony Locke, og).

Old Aloysians 1 Accies 4ths 2 (Andy Mackay 2).

Accies 5ths 2 (Bob Woad 2) Old Woodhouseians 1.

Accies 6ths 4 (Roy Okec, Jason Ingel, Jonathan Day) Ravenscroft Old Boys 0 (Danny McConnell).

1sts Report from Steve Hair

For the second game running the Accies lost out by a single goal, but that was the only constant between this game at rain lashed Shenley and the first game of the season against Aloysians.  This time the Accies came off the pitch wondering how they had lost a game they had largely dominated, to a header which was literally the last touch of the game.  

Accies were once again forced to field a patched up, strapped up side, with injuries accounting for Pirrie and Hair in the build up to the game (as well as long term absentee Green), Gillard, Foster and Topping all carrying knocks and Shrimpton bravely soldiering on with a broken thumb.  Matters weren’t helped when Foster and Crowther failed to last 30 mins, leaving Accies with no subs for the last 60 mins of the game which, as it turned out, was to prove fatal.  

The Accies completely dominated the opening 45 minutes and took a deserved 2-0 lead into half time with goals from Vanson (with an excellent run timed to beat a static back four) and Foster. The Accies passing, movement and commitment had Bealonians all at sea and they seemed to have given up all hope of winning the game, preferring instead to rant at each other and the ref. 

The Accies dominance continued after the break, with Vaughan, Gillard and Hirst in total control of the midfield, Chantler dominant at the back and Vanson causing problems up front.  Dawson, after his heroics in the first game, was a complete spectator.  But then the worm slowly turned.  Tiredness set in to the Accies, with players short of match fitness due to injury unable to be substituted, and the Accies became unable to keep the ball.  This gave Bealonians the lift they badly needed and they got on top for the first time in the game.  A period of sustained pressure led to two late, well taken goals which brought them level, before the last gasp header which condemned the Accies to an undeserved defeat. 

Hirst just shaded Vanson to MOM.

3rds Report from Peter Alliss

After a heavy shower in Hatfield it started to brighten up and the weather looked good enough, even for a round of golf. Hatfield can just about boast the best pitch in the league and parts of it have even been mistaken for a fairway at the Belfrey.

The fourth team's previous encounters with this team have always been competitive and we knew this would be the same. There would be no room for complacency or drinks in the bar before this game, everyone came prepared. Buoyed by a lucky Bolton win over Liverpool Tony arrived in his favourite yellow polo short, chequered trousers and a hop in his step. What could go wrong? Everything was packed, shin pads and football boots, well one out of two ain't bad. On opening his smart new football boot bag a pair of golf shoes appeared! Would this put Tony off? No course not, while we all enjoyed one of his everchanging warmup routines the ref called the AFA to check that golf shoes were harmless and soon enough we were allowed to kick off.

Bit of a patchy start, we had the better chances but a couple of defensive errors and a bit of luck for the Hertfordshire team led them going a goal up. They continued to counter attack well and a run down the left caused a 34 year old hamstring to tear and Mark Emmerson was replaced with Simon Randall. We now had three new defenders alongside the stand in skipper Chester. While still trying to sort out the defence we let in another goal and went to half time at 2-0 down.

Half time kicked off and within ten minutes some good play down the right and a good cross from Alex caused panic in the Herts team and a convincing headed own goal. One goal back we carried on attacking and with plenty of men in the opposition penalty area the ball fell to Tony nicely teed up. A slow backswing followed by a fast foreswing and the ball was sliced into the net, 2-2 now (four baller) and a great comeback from the Accies. With the opposition temporarily stunned we piled forward and with everyone moving towards the right Terry Foster hit the ball back across the goal into the
left hand corner. A great goal and a great comeback, well above par. With only minutes to spare the three points looked quite safe but Hertfordshire dug deep and eventually got a late and deserved equaliser. 

A good game for all and impressive debut for Aaron Lyon.

6ths Report from Jonathan Day

A suggested meet of 2.15 prompt at Shenley seemed a reasonable suggestion for the first home game of the season.  Ravenscroft however thought that was far too late, and by 2.10 had a squad of 16 changed and ready to go .  At this stage, we had 2 people in the room, 2 who had called in running late, and one car (which shall remain nameless…) which had called with the great message “we’re on the M1. where do we go now?”.

By 2.45 pm we had 16 players there, with Waz ending up playing UCL trials (successfully, but he has confirmed he’ll be staying with us rather than doing a postgrad) and Ian wishing he’d brought an umbrella.

By 2.55pm we had our full squad of 14 on the pitch.  Ravenscroft by now had been warming up for half an hour.  They approached the ref suggesting a bench of 5 being named, with three used. Danny Mc pointed out the league rules stated only 3 subs could be named, and rather ended the argument over 5 or 3 subs with the immortal line “Which one of us wrote the league rules?”. Magic.

So the two squads of 14 settled into 2 teams of 11, and kicked off.  At this point the flaw in Ravenscroft’s otherwise cunning plan became apparent – they were knackered from the warm up!

Andy W instantly settled into midfield, and with Martyn and Serge combining well down the right, the Accies took control of the game, having most of the play and the chances of the first half.  Ryan demonstrated his ability to leap like a salmon as he rose to head a cross from the left into the gaping net. Sadly he then showed his heading was something like a salmon too – a bit wet and squidgy!  However, another effort from Roy (who by this point was probably fed up of me shouting at him to get back and defend!) ensured we went one up.

And the half would have ended like that were it not for a foul from behind (I thought) on one of our players, given as a foul against us, which Ravenscroft’s centre midfielder took great umbrage at – from nothing suddenly there was squaring up and all sorts.  A lid just about went back on, and we made it to half time with no more goals, and no scraps.

Danny’s halftime comment that if we kept our heads and they lost theirs we could win by 3 or 4 proved strangely prophetic…

Ryan went off at half time for a night of hospitality at the dogs (an oxymoron if ever there was) and James stepped into the breach, with Tom coming on to the right with almost instant effect  - a searching crossfield pass from Roy leading to a mazy run from Tom, and a low firm shot / cross / shot, which was turned in by a Ravenscroft defender.  Jason then showed the best way to deal with abuse was to put the ball in the back of the net with a 25 yard belter into the bottom corner.  3 – 0, and the game seemed to be over – Andy C and Alex were solid at the back and Ravenscroft never really threatened - when the ball did get in the box Danny was quickly in position to claim it.  Henry replaced Roy on the left,  and promptly pulled a hamstring! Marcus swapped his running upfront for a running down the left, and the team held on comfortably with 10 ½ men. 

Then it happened. 3 minutes to go, Jason fouled in a hokey cokey manner (in, out, in, out…of the box) – the ref thought in, 11 Ravenscroft players thought out.  Instead of shaking it all about, I did the responsible thing and ran over.  Delete whichever of the two following paragraphs you like…

EITHER

Having stolen the ball off Ryan the week before, I ran over to Jason and went, “I was captain last week, I’m still captain this week, and I’m still having the penalty”

OR

Having got the foul last week and having been passed the ball by Ryan, I asked Jason (having earned the penalty) if he wanted it.  He was happy enough for me to take it, so I placed it…

While Jason was busy discussing his heritage with one of the Ravenscroft players, the penalty was knocked into the corner, to make it 4 – 0. Two minutes later the ref blew up, and the VI’s had their first win of the season in their first home game.  Let’s get the second on Saturday!

Man of the match went to Andy W, with Martyn a close run second.

Saturday 23rd September

Old Meadonians 1 Accies 2nds 1 (Adam Parsons).

Accies 3rds 1 (Mark Hanlon) Old Edmontonians 0 (Steve Woodrow).

Old Camdenians 0 (Tom Lloyd) Accies 4ths 2 (Graham Whitworth, Jubril Alao).

Accies 5ths 2 (Thomas Lovell 2) Queen Mary College Old Boys 1.

Old Camdenians 5 Accies 6ths 3 (Roy Okec, Marcus Whitmore, Jonathan Day).

2nds Report from Danny Fewkes

The preceding weekend of 16th September had been particularly tough for the Accies’ top 2 sides, hamstrung by general availability issues and injuries to key players (both in pre season build up and during the Sat games themselves). Before I sound too much like an Old Owens 1s match report on one of the rare occasions they lose, I’ll move on. It had been a ‘summer of change’ at the Accies, the seats of power and responsibility of decision making now with Hair and Walker, the club’s new management team as 1s and 2s skippers respectively, replacing the old guard of McGuigan and your correspondent. Having being given a vote of confidence by chairman McConnell-Ellis, the new management duo’s response to the irate Accies’ fans calling Five Live 606 had been to fly out of the country on a Spanish jolly escaping the white hot furnace of media scrutiny. With McGuigan already being processed in the glue factory, there was only one volunteer to oversee proceedings….

So to the game, Accies lined up at newly promoted Meads with a strong and talented squad of 12, certainly in terms of ability, though admittedly lacking a little balance with two recognised defenders and an abundance of attacking midfielders. Preparations were not however ideal, poor navigational skills from the Rodent meant kit arriving late and a dishevelled Accies stumbled out in dribs and drabs to line up for a 3.10pm KO. Despite the pre match talk outlining what would be required, we certainly started slowly, and whilst playing more of the football, attitudes still appeared as ‘preseason mode’ and we were disappointingly second to the ball and lethargic to a man. Vanson was a little unlucky to be pulled down on 10 mins when through after a defensive slip, but Meads took the lead on 20 mins with a particularly soft goal which we not dwell on. Half time arrived with no need to panic, assuming we could match our hosts endeavour and up the urgency of our own attacks. 5 mins in, Meads missed a crucial chance for a 2 goal cushion and we finally started to control the game. The equaliser arrived on 65 mins as the Rodent made some amends for his timekeeping, stabbing home from close range following Jenkins fine run. Accies sensed they could move on and earn the 3 points, and Vanson was soon denied a season’s opener by a very tight offside call. The elusive second never came and sadly I have to conclude with the news that Accies very own Darren Anderton, on as a sub in his comeback game, unfortunately dislocated his shoulder again. We all wish Nasher a speedy recovery. 

To summarise: a disappointing start to the game and all should be aware of some basics we need to get right on a consistent basis to get where we want to be, however a point more than last week with some very nice football in parts. We certainly had the ability to get a win on Sat, and as things are still settling down face a tough few weeks when we’ll need to show some character. 

6ths Report from Jason Ingel

The new look Accies 6ths (nee 7ths) convened at the Mill Hill grounds of Old Camdenians, for the first game of the season under the auspices of Jon Day. Confidence was high, more so after seeing the opposition come out.  All head-bands, mullets and O.A.P passes  surely we were going to be too strong for this outfit? As befits the first match of the season, introductions all round were needed before kick-off with many new faces arriving for their first Accies run out.

The game started off in a blaze of quality football to match the late September sunshine – though like the sun, the fire in our play would rapidly disappear. Accies got stuck in early and played to an intelligent game plan, considering the cumulative age of the oppo’s back 4.  We were soon 1 up thanks to a great run and finish by Marcus Whitmore , following a route-one ball from Danny McConnell  in goals, via  a flick on.  Soon thereafter we were 2 up after a marauding run form left midfield by Roy “Not quite of the Rovers” Okec, who popped up on the right side and slotted home a deft finish having beaten the 3  Chelsea Pensioners for pace.  High-fives and back slaps abounded as we looked towards a cricket score.  What’s that about the fat lady singing you ask?

A few minutes later Camdenians pulled one back as we were guilty of ball-watching at the back and not committing men to the tackle. This was (unfortunately) not to be an isolated occurrence.  All credit to the team as we went forward seeking another goal, and could and should have had it when Marcus was scythed down (‘by mistake’ according to the ref) 1 yard outside the box with only the goalkeeper to beat.  Clearly the last man rule does not apply in the lower echelons of league football.  A yellow card was issued and the resulting free kick was taken by a clearly still inebriated Ryan Harbi– enough said about the attempt!

Very soon we were 1 down as a result of a combination of a reluctance to get stuck-in physically in midfield, and an expected lack of fitness.  The back 4 were not responsible as the team collectively went to sleep.  All of the goals were without exception soft and avoidable, though fair play to Camdenians for having the will to fight back.  Watch and learn Accies!

Second half was poor for both sides, though we cannot be faulted for our effort.  Tired legs and old bones prevented a stirring comeback. We did manage to gain a penalty following a jinking run by our very own Captain Marvel – or should it be ‘Superman’ following his flight through the air?  Ryan was just about to slot the kick home when the self-same Captain Day plucked the ball from his unsuspecting team-mate’s mitts shouting ‘I’m the skipper, ......it’s mine!”.  Luckily he converted it with aplomb and we were back on terms.

And that was that as far as we were concerned.  Two quick goals sealed our fate 3-5.  Admittedly there were a few negatives (5 of them spring readily to mind), however many positives as well .  3 goals, some good debuts (Dan Jackman stood out in my humble opinion), and a great first 20 minutes.

There is definitely work to be done, but much optimism for the season ahead.

Onwards and upwards lads!

Saturday 16th September

Accies 1sts 0 Old Aloysians 1.

Accies 2nds 0 Old Manorians 5.

1sts Match Report from Steve Hair

Accies 1sts got their league campaign underway at Shenley against Aloysians. Already understrength due to the absence of stalwarts Gillard and Houghton through injury, Chantler through suspension and Crowther due to his desire to be an iron man, the Accies suffered a further blow after 15 minutes when Green, who had been settling in well to an unaccustomed position at centre half, challenged for a ball and went over on his ankle, damaging ligaments which will keep him out for up to 3 months. Due to lack of available options on the bench, the injury saw new skipper Hair at first switch to left back and then sweeper, with debutant Jenkin coming into the midfield. The shock of seeing Hair in his own box for the first time since giving a penalty away in 2000 unsettled the Accies and Aloysians began to dominate. Fortunately, the Nugget was on fine form and made at least excellent 3 saves in the first half. Aloysians didn’t have it all their own way however, and the Accies had periods of fluent play, with Vanson and Vaughan showing good touches, one of which lead to Topping being presented with a good chance to draw first blood from just inside the box. Unfortunately, no doubt due to him expanding most of his energy in the sack earlier that morning, Topping was unable to get his shot on target. 

The Accies started the second half much sharper, and Jones was just unable to capitalise on a good chance, the opposing keeper making a good save at the striker’s feet. Shortly after, Jones thundered a volley into the top corner but the strike was ruled out for offside. This looked at best a marginal decision by the ref, who otherwise had an excellent game. Aloysians were giving as good as they got however, with their central midfielders coming more into the game and their strikers only being repelled by excellent performances from Pirrie and the veteran Shrimpton. Then the breakthrough, a fine run and finish from the Aloysian’s skipper. After that, Accies didn’t have the legs to chase the game and another goal for Aloysians was chalked out by the ref due to Hirst being off the field fetching the match ball at the time. 

The Accies worked hard but all in all a deserved victory for Aloysians and a decent game played in good spirit by both teams. Accies MOM Dawson can feel hard done by after a string of good saves. Accies will get stronger and better when injuries clear up and availability improves.

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